Well, folks, I’ve done it again–I read the second book in a series by mistake. This week, I read, or rather re-read (but if the first time was middle/high school and I don’t remember the story, I don’t think it counts) Meg Cabot’s Underworld.
If I still was in late-middle-early-high school, I think I would have enjoyed it a lot more than this time ’round. That said, the sense of nostalgia was somewhat fun.
By the way, click here for my vlog.
So, let me take you on a journey to Florida, or rather one of its (fictional) islands, Isla Huesos: the Island of Bones. It’s under this little, spirited island that the underworld resides, ruled over by John Hayden and his recently appointed consort, Pierce Oliviera.
But unlike Disney’s Hades, John’s mission in life is to save Pierce, not reek havoc on Earth. However, that does put him, his un-dead men, Pierce, and everyone she loves in danger because the Furies are after her.
That’s pretty much it–it’s a goofy, teenage love story that’s been heavily influenced by the classic story of Persephone and thrown into Florida.
I think it’s a story that is entertaining and has potential, but didn’t really do it for me. I think this is largely due to the fact that Pierce drove me a little crazy. She’s definitely developed and I get that she’s supposed to be a little quirky and naive, but there were some times that were just too much.
A few examples of Pierce’s naivete that made me roll my eyes:
- When she woke up from a dream about the boy she loves next to the boy she loves and she panicked? Maybe this would have made more sense if I read the first book…well first. But considering that she was just dream-panicking and woke up real-crying, it was surprising that she seemed fairly upset about waking up next to this guy she apparently loves
- When she insisted that she could eat food in the underworld and not get trapped…unless the food was a pomegranate, but she only had waffles. Okay, so this is a little interesting because this is actually a point of discussion later on, but her whole “yeah I only kind of remember learning about this myth in school and death-diety-boyfriend, you’re obviously wrong!” reaction was a little annoying
- Literally any time she jumped to conclusions and then started crying and no one knew why she was crying–could they be happy tears, frustrated tears?
- When she already knew that John killed a man on a ship and then when she was reading a book passage about the same ship, she found out that it was captained by Robert Hayden of ‘Hayden & Sons’ and she was like “Why does this captain have the same name as John? What does this mean?” If that isn’t dramatic irony, I’m not sure what else is. Thankfully she realized pretty quickly, but sill, as soon as I saw the name “Hayden,” my first thought was patricide.
Please don’t take this as my not liking the book. As I said before, it was somewhat nostalgic and I enjoy a YA book from time to time. However, I think this is just one of those stories that’s really better fit for its targeted, younger audience: tween-early teen girls.
Additionally, as I said before, I like the idea of modernizing Persephone’s story, I just wish Pierce was a little more mature and a little less reactive to everything. I liked John quite a bit and really liked some of the other characters as well, so if you have 7th-10th grade children, this is probably a book/series worth checking out.
That’s all I’ve got for now! Look out for my next post on The Eye of the Prophet by Kahlil Gibran.
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